The Facebook & Instagram Shop Helps Small Businesses Sell Online.
Facebook and Instagram launch Shops – Will they be the saviour of Small Businesses?
Facebook has announced it’s most significant move into e-commerce yet with the launch of Facebook Shops.
The feature will give small businesses the chance to create online stores on Facebook and Instagram and eventually sell their products through Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Messenger. A tagging tool will be available for selling products during live broadcasting also.
The economic consequences of the pandemic have been catastrophic for small businesses, with 31% in the US ceasing to trade altogether.
However, one vital way they have found to survive is by moving online. Zuckerberg comments “We’re seeing a lot of businesses that never had online presences get online for the first time, and we’re seeing small businesses that had an online presence now making them their primary way of doing business”.
The majority of Facebook advertisers are small businesses so it’s no surprise the company has been invested in helping them during the outbreak of COVID 19.
Facebook Shops: What you need to know
Facebook Shops will allow businesses to build an online shop with a catalogue of products or services that people can browse, save, share and buy.
Shops will be free, simple and quick to create making them indispensable to small businesses. The major benefit is once yours is set up it will be integrated across Facebook’s family of apps, making it available on your Facebook Page, Instagram Profile and accessible via stories and adverts.
Businesses will be able to customise their shop with unique cover photos acting as virtual shop windows showcasing their featured products.
Customisation will also come from A.I, meaning you can tailor your shop to each visitor by showing them their most relevant products. Customers will be able to try out products (from makeup to furniture!) using Facebook’s augmented reality tech.
Help will be available through WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct who will provide Customer Support. In the future people will be able to purchase goods from within chats.
Facebook Shops will also incorporate loyalty schemes.
Whilst creating and using Facebook Shops will be free, Facebook plans to take a commission from orders made through them.
Instagram Shop, Live Shopping and other E-commerce Features from Facebook
Facebook is also working on other e-commerce tools to make it easier to buy and sell online.
Instagram Shop will let users browse, filter and buy products through Instagram Explore.
New Live Shopping features will be launched on Facebook and Instagram to enable shopping in real time. With product tutorials trending, there’s a strong link to e-commerce culture already, but with the Live Shopping tool businesses will be able to tag their products before going live so they’ll be shown at the bottom of the video for viewers to purchase.
With these huge steps for e-commerce, hopefully Facebook Shops can save small businesses!
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